Thursday, March 10, 2011

ACC Tourney nostalgia

The first day of the ACC Tournament is behind us, but does the tourney still hold the luster it once did?

Our buddy James over at has an excellent piece on the impact the tournament once had -- especially if you were a school child in the state of North Carolina.

The ACC Tournament as I knew it ended when they stopped wheeling TVs into the classrooms on Quarterfinal Fridays.

Now, I'm sure there are a few pockets in the state where in-class watching of the tournament is still done. Pockets of the state the transplants haven't discovered yet or don't dare venture into; where the average age of folks borders on AARP Qualifing Age; where time has stood still since 1980 and creeps along at a snail's pace relative to the world around it.

If you're a teacher in one of these pockets who insists on still watching the tournament in class, God bless you.

But the practice has largely died off because—unlike it was in the 80s and 90s—the ACC Tournament's slow slide into "meh" status no longer justifies teachers sacrificing class time to keep tabs on it.

It didn't use to be this way.


Kevin Brewer said...

The practice of watching the tournament in classrooms died out because teachers and principals got stricter on enforcing the rules against watching non-educational television shows or videos.

I can remember watching movies like “Back to the Future” in school as a treat or because it was the last day of school, but that doesn’t happen any longer either.

I could see the gradual change from the time I was elementary school until 1991, when I graduated high school.

Kevin Brewer said...

For me, ACC basketball and its tournament jumped the shark when the conference sold its soul for football prominence by expanding to 12 teams.

This eliminated the conference’s round-robin format in the regular season.

It expanded Thursday’s games from one to four, prolonging the whole who-cares experience.

It made Friday’s games less special, and it made upsets on Friday less likely, because the lower seeds played the day before.

Forget about teams Nos. 5-8 winning the tournament, which happened a few times in the past. They have to win four games in four days now.

Oh, and about that football prominence ...

M. Lail said...

Brewer, you stole my thunder. Well said.